Background: Atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) is the most common supraventricular tachycardia in adulthood. Although selective ablation of the slow AV nodal pathway can cure AVNRT, accidental AV block may occur. The details on the electrophysiologic characteristics, quantitative data on the voltage inside Koch's triangle, and the use of three-dimensional noncontact mapping to facilitate the catheter ablation of AVNRT associated with a high-risk for AV block or other arrhythmias have been limited. Methods and results: Nine patients (M/F = 5/4, 34 ± 23 years, range 17-76) with clinically documented AVNRT were included. All patients had undergone previous sessions for slow AV nodal pathway ablation but they had failed, because of repetitive episodes of complete AV block during the RF energy applications. Further, one patient had a complex anatomy and 4 patients were associated with other tachycardias, respectively. The electrophysiologic studies revealed that 4 patients had the slow-fast, 4 the slow-intermediate and one the fast-intermediate form of AVNRT. Noncontact mapping demonstrated two types of antegrade AV nodal conduction, markedly differing sites of the earliest atrial activation during retrograde VA conduction, and a lower range of voltage within Koch's triangle. The lowest border of the retrograde conduction region was defined on the map, and the application of the RF energy was delivered below that border to prevent the occurrence of AV block. The distance between the successful ablation lesions and the lowest border of the retrograde conduction region was significantly shorter in the patients with the slow-intermediate form of AVNRT than in those with the slow-fast form (5.5 ± 3.4 vs. 15 ± 7.6 mm; p < 0.05). After the ablation procedure, either rapid pacing or extrastimulation could not induce any tachycardia, and there was no recurrence during the follow-up (10.3 ± 5.4, 2 to 22 months). Conclusions: Noncontact mapping could effectively demonstrate the antegrade and retrograde atrionodal conduction patterns, electrophysiologic characteristics of Koch's triangle, and guide the successful catheter ablation in difficult AVNRT cases.
- Atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia
- Catheter ablation
- Noncontact three-dimensional mapping system